By Tilly Michell, Content Marketing Manager at Airwallex

There’s never been a better time to be an ecommerce business.

According to a survey by Reuters, 70% of British consumers now prefer buying online to shopping in-person, with more than half of respondents claiming their online spending had increased over the past two years.

But the UK is not the only place where ecommerce is flourishing, and savvy brands are looking beyond domestic shoppers towards burgeoning opportunities abroad. Between 2021 and 2027, the cross-border ecommerce market is projected to grow at an annual CAGR of 27%, reaching $4.8 billion by 2026.

The international popularity of Amazon, Etsy and eBay have made it easier than ever to access new audiences around the globe. Whilst fintechs like Airwallex are helping businesses eliminate the cost of collecting and sending money across borders. In this article, we’ll outline five ecommerce trends that will help you scale your business both at home and abroad in 2022.

Ambassador marketing

Say goodbye to inauthentic influencer campaigns and hello to genuine customer-led brand advocacy. Ambassador marketing is a new trend in which businesses reward their loyal customers with perks when they promote their products online.

Unlike influencer marketing, ambassador marketing leverages real customer relationships, the idea being that ordinary people can have as much influence (if not more) on their small group of friends as celebrities do on their thousands of followers.

Thomas Adams, CEO of ambassador marketing platform Brandbassador, says: “The opportunity is for brands to get more involved with their customers and their fans on Instagram and Facebook. If you open the door for people to be a part of your brand, they’ll give it back to you ten times.”

Augmented reality

Not only will AR adverts give your customers a unique and memorable experience, they can also help improve brand awareness by as much as 70%, according to research from marketing agency Poplar. AR has been around for a while, but businesses are only just tapping into its potential. Some great examples of AR advertising include Ikea’s Studio App, which allows users to virtually redesign their homes, and Khol, who teamed up with Snapchat in 2021 to create a virtual closet where customers could browse for outfits.

Man wearing vr headset

As well as being an attention-grabbing digital advertising gimmick, AR can bridge the gap between the online and in-person shopping experience. When L’Oreal launched a website feature which allowed users to try on makeup virtually before buying it, they tripled their online conversions.

Voice search

Voice commerce is a growing market, particularly in the US where 42.7% of the population use a voice assistant such as Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri. According to UnivDatos Market Insights, the global voice assistance commerce market is expected to grow by 77.7% between 2021 – 2027 to reach $1.3 trillion.

People use voice search in a different way to browser search, so it’s wise to approach voice search optimisation from a different angle to standard SEO.

  1. People tend to talk to their voice assistants in the same way they talk to a person, so it’s wise to use conversational language and long-tail keywords in your content marketing. For example, instead of the headline ‘Best bike helmets’ a bike shop could try, ‘What is the safest road cycling helmet for 2022?’
  2. For the same reason, you should focus your blog content around ‘why, what, where?’ questions.
  3. According to SEMrush, 70% of voice searches return a Rich Answer (such as a featured snippet) on Google. To increase your chances of being featured as a Rich Answer, include paragraphs within your content that answer specific questions within 29-41 words, with the main question wrapped in an H2 heading.

International expansion

Why limit your brand to the UK, when you can reach millions of people around the world? If you’re planning to expand your business internationally in 2022, here are some tips for success.

  1. Create local landing pages for the different countries where you sell, but don’t rely on Google Translate. Instead, ask a content creator who is fluent in the language to translate your page. Tools like Wezen can help you project manage content creation across multiple geographies and languages.
  2. Allow your global customers to pay in their local currency, but don’t get caught out by exchange fees. Payment processors like PayPal, Shopify and Stripe tend to charge high fees for currency exchange.
    You can avoid paying these fees by using a multi-currency account to collect, hold and transfer money in several currencies without forced conversions or high fees.
  3. Choose a logistics company that makes the international fulfilment process easier. Many brands choose Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), but there are also cheaper and greener options on the market, such as Huboo and Green Fulfilment.

Sustainability and social responsibility

Today’s customers don’t just want to buy stuff, they want to consume consciously from brands that match their core values.

Krissie Claire, the CoFounder of MindfulCommerce says: “One of the most important things that a brand can focus on at the moment is their stance on sustainability. The rise in conscious consumerism is huge and it’s so important for the planet.”

If you’d like to take a more ethical stance in 2022, you can try joining a carbon offset program such as Native Energy or 3Degrees. Or you could support a charity that means something to you and your customers.

Happy New Year 2022

Ethical initiatives will build trust and inspire loyalty within your customer base, whilst helping you give something back.

Final thoughts

As consumers shift away from the high street, towards online shopping, ecommerce businesses should consider what they can offer their customers beyond convenience.

The challenge is to foster an online buying experience that holds some of the brand identity, customer care and sense of playfulness and fun that shoppers are used to experiencing in physical stores.

With the right tools in place, ecommerce brands can delight their customers, and build a loyal following that stretches across borders.

To read more about the trends that will help brands maximise sales and grow their revenue this year, download the full 2022 Ecommerce Trends ebook.

Published 07/01/22




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